This weeks links (2013-02-11)

新年好!恭喜发财!
在此新年之际,祝愿大家虎年行大运,身体健康,恭喜发财!

In brief:

* To boldly go … (7 talks) Playlist [TED]
Ski to the North Pole. Row across the Pacific. Swim on Mt. Everest(!). These adventurers have pushed themselves to the limits of human endurance, and in these talks they share what they’ve learned about themselves and the planet. Curated by TED

* Australian government orders Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to explain inflated local prices (2013-Feb-11) [The Next Web]
Kotaku reports that the three tech giants have been instructed to send representatives to discuss the matter at a public hearing in capital city Canberra on March 22. There they will be asked a series of questions related to their local pricing policy. The firms face legal consequences if they fail to comply and attend the event

* The Importance of Excel (2013-Feb-09) [Baseline Scenario]
… But while Excel the program is reasonably robust, the spreadsheets that people create with Excel are incredibly fragile. There is no way to trace where your data come from, there’s no audit trail (so you can overtype numbers and not know it), and there’s no easy way to test spreadsheets, for starters. The biggest problem is that anyone can create Excel spreadsheets—badly. Because it’s so easy to use, the creation of even important spreadsheets is not restricted to people who understand programming and do it in a methodical, well-documented way. …

Some reading/listening:

* Trixie and the Pandas of Dread by Eugie Foster (2013-Jan-01) [Apex Magazine]
Trixie got out of her cherry-red godmobile and waved away the flitting cherubim waiting to bear her to her sedan chair. She wasn’t in the mood for a reverent chorus of hosannas, and the sedan chair desperately needed re-springing. She felt every jostle and jounce from those damned pandas. A day didn’t pass that she didn’t regret adopting giant pandas as her sacred vahanas. Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time. They were so cute with their roly-poly bellies and black-masked faces, but they were wholly unsuited to be beasts of conveyance. The excessive undulation of their waddling gaits was enough to make Captain Ahab seasick, and their exclusive diet of bamboo made them perpetually flatulent. The novelty of being hauled along by farting ursines in a stomach-roiling sedan chair had gotten very old very fast. But there wasn’t a lot she could do about it now. It was all about the brand. Pandas were part of her theology. If she adopted new vahanas, she’d likely end up with a splitter faction, possibly even a reformation. Such a pain in the ass. …

* The io9 Calendar: All the Science Fiction and Fantasy You Can’t Miss in February! (2013-Feb-01) [io9]

Something from Bandcamp:

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