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The Ever-Present Glow of LED Greenhouses Documented by Aerial Photographer Tom Hegen →

Laura Staugaitis at Colossal:

The photographer tells Colossal that his work centers around the topic of the Anthropocene (the era of human influence on Earth’s biological, geological, and atmospheric processes). “In my photography, I explore the origin and scale of that idea in an effort to understand the dimensions of man’s intervention in natural spaces and to direct attention toward how humans can take responsibility.” Hegen explains that aerial photography in particular helps convey the Anthropocene because it shows the dimensions and scale of human impact more effectively.

It’s fascinating subject to focus on, and the photography is stunning.

Tom Hegen also created a short video containing some aerial shorts of the greenhouses.

I will be definitely following him on Instagram, and keeping an eye on his work.

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My Favourite Git Commit →

David Thompson:

I like Git commit messages. Used well, I think they’re one of the most powerful tools available to document a codebase over its lifetime. I’d like to illustrate that by showing you my favourite ever Git commit.

This commit is from my time at the Government Digital Service, working on GOV.UK. It’s from a developer by the name of Dan Carley, and it has the rather unassuming name of “Convert template to US-ASCII to fix error”.

This is a rather funny bug fix, but at the same time there’s a lot of good points you can take from the level of detail that was put in.

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Samsung: Anyone’s Thumbprint Can Unlock Galaxy S10 Phone →

BBC News:

A flaw that means any fingerprint can unlock a Galaxy S10 phone has been acknowledged by Samsung.

It promised a software patch that would fix the problem.

The issue was spotted by a British woman whose husband was able to unlock her phone with his thumbprint just by adding a cheap screen protector.

When the S10 was launched, in March, Samsung described the fingerprint authentication system as “revolutionary”.

All I can do is laugh.

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The World’s Oldest Tree Lives in Sweden →

Elina Sundqvist, on Swedes in the States:

The world’s oldest tree, Old Tjikko, is a 9,500-year-old Norwegian Spruce tree that was discovered in 2004 by Professor Leif Kullman, and to this day remains the world’s oldest tree. The tree is located on Fulufjället, in the province of Dalarna.

For the world’s oldest tree, I thought it would have been a bit more impressive.

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The Intelligence of Plants →

Cody Delistraty, writing for The Paris Review, about the capabilities of plants:

A few years ago, Monica Gagliano, an associate professor in evolutionary ecology at the University of Western Australia, began dropping potted Mimosa pudicas. She used a sliding steel rail that guided them to six inches above a cushioned surface, then let them fall. The plant, which is leafy and green with pink-purple flower heads, is commonly known as a “shameplant” or a “touch-me-not” because its leaves fold inward when it’s disturbed. In theory, it would defend itself against any attack, indiscriminately perceiving any touch or drop as an offense and closing itself up.

The first time Gagliano dropped the plants—fifty-six of them—from the measured height, they responded as expected. But after several more drops, fewer of them closed. She dropped each of them sixty times, in five-second intervals. Eventually, all of them stopped closing. She continued like this for twenty-eight days, but none of them ever closed up again. It was only when she bothered them differently—such as by grabbing them—that they reverted to their usual defense mechanism.

It’s a fascinating read, and it’s not just a clickbait headline with minimal information. Rather he mentions research that has been done regarding how trees can share nutrients and information via fungal networks, how they react to damage and animals attempting to eat parts of them.

I’ve read about the ways that trees can communicate between each other, to notify others of possible intruders, and how a forest can provide the nutrients to an unhealthy tree to sustain it, in the book “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. But, the idea that a plant could learn, or even just have a form of memory, would certainly alter the way we think about plants in general.

Possibly my favourite part of this article would be:

Even the slightest possibility of a proven plant intelligence would have massive scientific and existential implications. If plants can “learn” and “remember,” as Gagliano believes, then humans may have been misunderstanding plants, and ourselves, for all of history. The common understanding of “intelligence” would have to be reimagined; and we’d have missed an entire universe of thought happening all around us.

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iPhone 11 Pro Camera Review: China

Austin Mann:

I’m here as I continue on-going work photographing The Bach Project w/ Yo-Yo Ma, a world tour where Yo-Yo is performing Bach in unconventional places around the globe. It’s been a privilege to photograph this amazing journey, and when I considered how to test the iPhone 11 Pro’s new capabilities, I thought a shoot on this project could be a great fit as many of these shoots have been in extremely low light!

Of course, I’ve also been anxious to see what this Ultra Wide lens can do, so shortly after the performance I popped out to the countryside to find some epic landscapes and have been out exploring this big, beautiful country ever since.

The iPhone 11 Pro announcement was really about one thing: camera. (ICYMI, see this video pretty much summing it up.)

The big camera features I was most interested in testing were obviously the Ultra Wide (13 mm) lens, the new Night mode, Capture Outside the Frame, and things like iOS 13 photo management, editing tools, etc.

Austin Mann’s iPhone reviews are one of the few reviews that I read every year. As the main improvements to iPhone over the recent years being the camera, I can’t think of anyone else to better it all.

And as always, it’s packed full of great photography. It’s a must read.

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Apple’s iPhone Event Invites: Hidden Clues or Just Like…Invites? →

Matt Birchler had a retrospective look at the last 10 iPhone event invites, to see if any of them actually had connections to what was unveiled at each event. The result was a lot different than I expected.

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By Renaming Instagram, Facebook Is Making a Mistake →

Great post by Andy Day at Fstoppers. I agree with everything.

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Automattic Plans To Acquire Tumblr →

From the Tumblr staff blog:

Hello Tumblr 👋

Today, Tumblr’s owner, Verizon Media, announced that Automattic plans to acquire Tumblr. Automattic is the technology company behind products such as WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and Simplenote—products that help connect creators, businesses, and publishers to communities around the world.

What a great acquisition. It’s clear to see the impressive work that Automattic have been doing over the years, and it will be interesting to see what Tumblr will be like in a few years.

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A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon →

Daniel Oberhaus, writing for Wired:

It was just before midnight on April 11 and everyone at the Israel Aerospace Industries mission control center in Yehud, Israel, had their eyes fixed on two large projector screens. On the left screen was a stream of data being sent back to Earth by Beresheet, its lunar lander, which was about to become the first private spacecraft to land on the moon. The right screen featured a crude animation of Beresheet firing its engines as it prepared for a soft landing in the Sea of Serenity. But only seconds before the scheduled landing, the numbers on the left screen stopped. Mission control had lost contact with the spacecraft, and it crashed into the moon shortly thereafter.

Half a world away, Nova Spivack watched a livestream of Beresheet’s mission control from a conference room in Los Angeles. As the founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit whose goal is to create “a backup of planet Earth,” Spivack had a lot at stake in the Beresheet mission. The spacecraft was carrying the foundation’s first lunar library, a DVD-sized archive containing 30 million pages of information, human DNA samples, and thousands of tardigrades, those microscopic “water bears” that can survive pretty much any environment—including space.

But when the Israelis confirmed Beresheet had been destroyed, Spivack was faced with a distressing question: Did he just smear the toughest animal in the known universe across the surface of the moon?

This is a very interesting story. It’s the first time I’ve heard of the Arch Mission Foundation, and I find it fascinating that people are trying to spread information regarding the human race around the solar system.

What I find most interesting is the fact that they also sent tardigrades. I’ve heard about them before, and how they can survive basically anywhere. So, although they were sent in a dehydrated state, it’s weird to think that there is actually now life on the Moon. It might not be the first time, but it’s the first I’ve heard of such scenario.