Red Atlas

John Davies, Alexander J. Kent, James Risen, The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World.

John Davies writes the excellent blog Soviet Maps, and spent a lot of time checking why and how the guys behind the red curtain managed to draw such accurate (well not always) maps. Check his Resources and Links section and try to find time to sleep…
You will find a summary of Davies’ work in his excellent article Soviet Military Mapping of the Cold War Era. The book itself was long awaited. It was initially scheduled to be published in 2015 by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, which backed out over copyright concern, according to Nick Ballon in his article in WIRED Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers (also a must-read).

“Cartographic culture is to Russia as wine culture is to France,”

says Kent Lee, the CEO of EastView Geospatial, a Minnesota company that claims to have the largest collection of Soviet military maps outside of Russia and publisher of Russian Military Mapping.

Apple Jack

Remember Scotty, the guy from strangeparts who chases iPhone spare parts in a Chinese alleymarket in order build a (not legit, but look-alike) iPhone 6S?
Well he spent some time (17 weeks?) to hack a jack port in a iPhone 7S. It’s a one-off, not suited for replication or even small-scale production but he left his design out for free (yes, both as-in-free-beer and not-as-in-free-beer kind of free!) for a smarter guy/gal to pick it up and use it!

Projection of Muslim Population in Europe

…a “high” migration scenario projects [a] record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016. (…) In this scenario, Muslims could make up 14% of Europe’s population by 2050 – nearly triple the current share, but still considerably smaller than the populations of both Christians and people with no religion in Europe.
The refugee flows of the last few years, (…) are extremely high compared with the historical average in recent decades, and already have begun to decline as the European Union and many of its member states have made policy changes aimed at limiting refugee flow.
Predicting future migration levels is impossible. (…) if regular migration continues at recent levels, and some asylum seekers also continue to arrive and receive refugee status – but not as many as during the historically exceptional surge of refugees from 2014 to 2016 – then the share of Muslims in Europe’s population as of 2050 would be expected to be somewhere between 11.2% and 14%.

2050 - High Migration Scenario

While Europe’s Muslim population is expected to grow in all three scenarios (…) Europe’s non-Muslims, on the other hand, are projected to decline in total.

Between mid-2010 and mid-2016, the number of Muslims in Europe grew considerably through natural increase alone:

Three scenarios illustrate what the Muslim population could look like in Europe in 2050 (Methodology). Résumé en langue française ici, texte intégral en anglais .

Night Train no more

«Cross bitume», vous connaissez?

des forces de l’ordre complètement dépassées, spectateurs qui se contentent de rappels à la loi et qui ont surtout pour consigne de ne pas déclencher de poursuite pour éviter un drame éventuel…

Personne ne se demande vraiment d’où viennent ces motos et ces quads bardés de stickers. Surtout pas les autorités, plus zélées lorsqu’il s’agit de mettre à l’amende un deux roues et son conducteur bien solvable qui aurait emprunté une voie de bus sur 20 mètres.

Moto Verte

Via Google (!)

Just how predictable is human taste, anyway?

From The New York Times : If You Liked This, Sure to Love That – Winning the Netflix Prize

…shopping over the Web is not a social experience; there are no clever clerks to ask for advice. What’s more, because they have no real space constraints, online stores like Amazon or iTunes can stock millions of titles, making a stack search essentially impossible. This creates the classic problem of choice: how do you decide among an effectively infinite number of options?

…even though Net­flix has a good deal of demographic information about its users, the company does not currently use it much to generate movie recommendations; merely knowing who people are, paradoxically, isn’t very predictive of their movie tastes.

The key feature here is the date: 2008. The Netflix contest folded in 2009.
(via Kottke, again)