First, thank you all for your support, love, messages in solidarity, and for sharing Thurst with your friends and communities!
Thurst has launched in beta on Google play and we’re excited to get folks on board! I have a lot of improvements and adjustments to make but it’s exciting to finally see this manifest.
Thurst was the 2nd most popular dating app on Google play days after we launched - thank you! Thurst is only available in the US, Canada, and Mexico but I’d like to make it available on iOS and worldwide soon!
One of the physicists who helped find the Higgs boson, Elina Berglund, has spent the past three years working on something completely different - a fertility app that tells women when they’re fertile or not.
It’s not the first fertility app out there, but Berglund’s app works so well that it’s been shown to help women avoid pregnancy with 99.5 percent reliability - an efficacy that puts it right up there with the pill and condoms.
Best of all, the app doesn’t have any side effects, and just requires women to input their temperature daily to map their fertility throughout the month.
Back in 2012, Berglund was working at CERN on the Large Hadron Collider experiment to find the famous Higgs boson. But after the discovery of the particle, she felt it was time to work on something completely different.
“I wanted to give my body a break from the pill,” she told Daniela Walker from Wired, “but I couldn’t find any good forms of natural birth control, so I wrote an algorithm for myself.”
The resulting app is called Natural Cycles, and so far, it’s had pretty promising results.
Omg as a girl who can’t use hormonal birth control. This is amazing
#women in stem
After Darsh’s photo was used in an Islamophobic “joke,” the internet rallied around him in love and respect. His response on MSNBC is the definition of poise and rising above the hate.
Gabriella Coleman, the anthropologist whose first book, Coding Freedom, explained hacking culture better than any book before or since; and whose second book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, told the inside story of Anonymous with technical and social brilliance, appeared on the Theory of Everything podcast (MP3) to discuss the ways that free software hackers and the more business-friendly open source world have fought, reconciled and fought again.
As with all of Coleman’s expositions, this interview gets to the human, ethical core of the technical discussion, fusing the technological and the anthropological in a way that makes it clear that they should never really be discussed separately from one another.
“Linguists who study endangered languages have identified a few early warning signs,” writes Mayyasi. “One is when a prominent language like English or French replaces a native language for a specific function like literature or commerce. Another is when a native language is seen as dated by younger generations.”
In the 2013 paper Digital Language Death, researcher András Kornai investigated the dangers to existing languages caused by a move to the digital realm, by applying the same methods of “language vitality assessment” that are used for regular languages. At the end, Kornai concludes that, at best, only 5% of the world’s languages are “digitally ascending.” That is, 95% of languages are not vital, thriving, or even borderline viable online.
The problems are complex. For instance, even if a language has a good online presence, it doesn’t mean that it has a community that uses it in any meaningful way (Kornai cites Klingon as an example of this). Also, thanks to the way content hangs around online forever, a language can still exist and be dead at the same time. “Wikipedia is a good place for digitally minded speakers to congregate,” writes Kornai, “but the natural outcome of these efforts is a heritage project, not a live community.”