## #How Credit Card Numbers Work →

January 13th, 2014 at 12:33 // In Worth Knowing

This is a bit of deep data nerdery, but I really enjoyed it and didn’t know nearly as much about check digits and sums as Nick Berry talks about. Like:

In a typical sixteen digit credit card number, the first fifteen digits are determined by the issuing bank, but the last digit, called the check digit, is mathematically determined based on all the other digits. …

Obviously, with just a single check digit, not all errors can be detected (there’s a one in ten chance of a random number having the correct check digit), but the Luhn algorithm is clever in that it detects any singleerror (getting a single digit wrong), such as swapping the 9 with a 6 in the above example. It also detects almost all* pair-wise switching of two adjacent numbers. These errors are typical common errors people make when transcribing card numbers, so the check digit does a good thing.

(via The Browser)

## #iSteam →

January 4th, 2009 at 12:43 // In Worth Distraction

I don’t even have an iPhone (and I wish developers would stop appending an “i” infront of the names of apps) but I really like this idea.

## #Lego People →

October 30th, 2008 at 20:40 // In Worth Distraction

A bit of toy history: Gizmodo has compiled a photographic timeline of all Lego “minifigs” ever made.

September 9th, 2008 at 22:51 // In Worth Reading

There’s nothing too remarkable in Gizmodo’s interview with Alton Brown. They breifly discuss his new show — Feasting on Waves — and talk at length about the technology he used while filming it. So, I guess the point is that I’m mostly just linking to this because Alton Brown is cool.

## #Doppler Speed →

August 12th, 2008 at 21:11 // In Worth Seeing

The National Weather Service think they may have found a driver going 130 miles per hour around Chicago. Using a weather doppler. Who knew? As Gizmodo explains, It works something like this:

Sometimes, when a warm layer of air rolls in up above the surface, the beam from the Doppler radar can be deflected towards the ground—picking up traffic and other objects much like a police radar gun. The weather service alluded to the fact that the “speeder” could have been nothing more than noise, but it still makes you wonder how long it will be before they figure out how to bust motorists from space.

## #Walking Directions →

July 22nd, 2008 at 21:14 // In Worth Knowing

Though I don’t know how much I’ll use it, I think it’s cool that Google Maps now offers walking (and public transportation — when did that happen?) directions.

(via Gizmodo)

## #Super Soaker Family Trees →

July 5th, 2008 at 13:58 // In Worth Distraction

The Air tree shows the Super Soaker 100, which I ended up trading for two Super Soaker 50s (the one at the very top.) It’s amazing how many interations have occurred since.

(via Gizmodo, whose comments point to this video about the inventor of the toys)

## #42 Years! →

June 18th, 2008 at 16:50 // In Worth Distraction

I’m ready to name this the craziest thing I’ve heard all day:

The remains of a woman have been found sitting in front of her TV - 42 years after she was reported missing.

(via Gizmodo)

## #Illusory Speed Bumps →

June 14th, 2008 at 9:39 // In Worth Distraction

Philadelphia has an interesting plan to get people to slow down: paint optical illusions onto the road.

(via Gizmodo)

## #Most. Compact. Furniture. Ever. →

February 11th, 2008 at 19:58 // In Worth Seeing

Casulo is, without question, the most compact set of furniture I’ve ever seen. In a reasonably sized box they’ve fit: a desk, a bed, a bureau, a stool, a shelving unit, two seating-height boxes, and a small chest of drawers. You must give it at least seven seconds.

(via Gizmodo)