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Round 38: Has seen my x? Last seen: φ(x) = 38

Hello hackers,

Round 38 was a blast, thank you to everyone who presented, showed up, asked questions, and basically created the community we love!

And of course, an extra thanks to Orbital for hosting us, and to Adventure Capitalists for providing food and music! We really appreciate it. <3

The Hacks (in the ~random order in which they were presented)

Stewart - Airborne VR

Stewart showed us web-based virtual reality with Chrome, WebVR, and the HTC Vive - and we got to step inside a dataset of flight paths around the globe!

Pam Selle - Turing-Incomtweet

Pam runs Turing-Incomplete, a podcast about programming. Like any good hacker, she got tired of the rote manual work of posting tweets to announce new podcast episodes, and decided to wire up Turing-Incomtweet - a system for auto-tweeting new episode announcements whenever the pull request for a new episode is merged on github!

Pam has an invitation for y'all - if you're interested in appearing as a guest on the podcast, get in touch with her! She says it's super fun, only takes an hour, and it's really simple!

Pam picked out a few of her favorite episodes, in case anyone wants to check 'em out:

Other Pam links:

Andrew Kelley - Zig

Andrew showed us Zig, the programming language he's been developing! His goal is to replace C. And personally, I love that there's already a vim plugin for Zig!

Chris Becker - Is My Train Fucked

Chris showed off Is My Train Fucked, a tiny app that answers the question "Is your train fucked?" (Hint: it probably is.)

David Turner - Word Freq

Dave presented Word Freq, a game about guessing n-gram frequencies that he threw together over a weekend. According to him, "It is moderately fun."

Roy Blankman - Boustro

Roy wrote a "boustrophedonic" e-reader which enables reading in a "comfortable" serpentine. The project is completely written in Haskell but compiled to JS to run on the front end. (We love the way it adapts when you resize your browser window, go check it out!) Maybe we should present all Hack && Tell announcements boustrophedonically from now on?

Guillaume Marceau - Spread.js

Guillaume woke up every Christmas hoping for a faster tool for showing you the results of code changes as you go, until he finally build a snappy full-featured NodeJS worksheet interface in 300 lines of code that breaks all the rules and gets the job done. He told us about cognitive load, reminded all of us to go watch (or re-watch) Bret Victor's Inventing in Principle, and went through the three hacks his project required: #1 an Emacs hack, #2, a self-modifying code hack, and #3, a polyglot code hack

Nabil Hassein - NYC summons/precinct visualization

Nabil showed us his interactive map of NYC criminal court summonses by precinct - you can see some political realities more clearly than before, and how the map changes over time and when you filter for different violations!

Jim Schmitz - ColorBlindness

Jim created a Processing ( library for simulating color blindness! Users can add a couple of lines of code to their Processing sketches to simulate the effects of any kind of color blindness. He also built color blindness educational tools, and showed us some pseudoisochromatic art that only color blind people can see correctly.

Jon Chan - Descartes

Jon wrote an experimental JS library so you write CSS stylesheets completely in JavaScript, almost like a preprocessor like LESS or SASS.

Announcements &c


Thanks to everyone who contributed towards our group donation to the Software Freedom Conservancy! Sasha will be making a $320.95 donation to them (assuming I read Meetup's accounting page correctly :), which will help them keep on protecting and supporting free software!

If you have another organization you think we should donate future meetup donations towards, let us know! I bet y'all have great instincts for the sort of groups that keep the hacker spirit alive, which we all want to support.

We're ~6 years old!

Hack && Tell started in the summer of 2010, so we're ~6 years old now. According to PBS:

"In terms of social and emotional development, six-year-olds are confident and delight in showing off their talents. They start to display an increasing awareness of their own and others' emotions and begin to develop better techniques for self-control. Six-year-olds enjoy sharing toys and snacks with friends, although conflicts among peers may remain quite frequent. Predictable routines are important sources of stability and security for children this age."

Sounds just like us. You have so many awesome hacks and ideas to delightfully show off, and we love sharing toys and snacks with you. <3

Also, we're going to try to stick to a predictable routine of hosting a Hack && Tell every 2 months going forward - we already have one scheduled and confirmed with a venue for October 11!

Round 39

October 11. Save the date! We'll officially announce the meetup event momentarily, and this time RSVPs will open two weeks in advance.


As always, you can follow us on twitter!

Happy hacking,

&&{ aditya, danielle, sasha }

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