Day: April 12, 2020

Stockholm’s Subway Network is the World’s Longest Art Walk

For tourists obsessed with beating the crowds, Covid-19 is a catch-22. With the world’s great attractions empty, it’d be the perfect time to travel, but they’re only empty because a deadly new virus has forced everyone to stay home.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to avoid the crowds once the pandemic is over. Like traveling in the off season. Buying tickets in advance. Or just visiting in the middle of the night when most normal people are sleeping. It’s how David Altrath toured and photographed Stockholm’s surprisingly arty metro last year. “It seemed like I was the only person

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A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles

Plastics have a lot of properties that have made them fixtures of modern societies. They can be molded into any shape we’d like, they’re tough yet flexible, and they come in enough variations that we can tune the chemistry to suit different needs. The problem is that they’re tough enough that they don’t break down on their own, and incinerating them is relatively inefficient. As a result, they’ve collected in our environment as both bulk plastics and the seemingly omnipresent microplastic waste.


This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis,

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How to Whirl a Squirrel off of a Bird Feeder

Squirrels are all right. They’re better than your average rodent, and they jump around and stuff. But if you have a bird feeder, you might hate them. These animals just don’t get that some food is set aside for birds. They don’t respect boundaries, and they’re not above wrecking your feeder to get the goods.

That’s why some people employ anti-squirrel technology. A company called Droll Yankees makes dispensers with names like the Tipper, the Whipper, and the Flipper. That latter one has a motor on the bottom and a weight-activated spinning perch. Birds aren’t heavy enough to trip the

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CheerpJ Java-to-JavaScript compiler boosts exception handling, native methods

Version 2.1 of the CheerpJ Java-to-WebAssembly-and-JavaScript compiler, released April 6, brings optimizations to exception handling and native methods.

Described as a maintenance release, CheerpJ 2.1 introduces optimizations for exception handling, which are now compiled to “much more efficient” JavaScript code, according to a bulletin on the version 2.1 upgrade. In addition, native Java reflection calls have been optimized, thus lowering the overhead in comparison with standard Java calls. The build size of ahead-of-time JavaScript output has been reduced as well.

CheerpJ converts a Java client application into standard HTML, JavaScript, and WebAssembly, working from Java bytecode without requiring access to

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Is your data lake open enough? What to watch out for

A data lake is a system or repository that stores data in its raw format along with transformed, trusted data sets, and provides both programmatic and SQL-based access to this data for diverse analytics tasks such as data exploration, interactive analytics, and machine learning. The data stored in a data lake can include structured data from relational databases (rows and columns), semi-structured data (CSV, logs, XML, JSON), unstructured data (emails, documents, PDFs), and binary data (images, audio, video).

A challenge with data lakes is not getting locked into proprietary formats or systems. This lock-in restricts the ability to move data

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