Nerd Alert Issue 17: Gooseneck Barnacle Cathedral

Barnacle geese were once thought to develop from goose barnacles.


What we're reading this week

  Adam: Communicating securely with colleagues and sources has received a lot of attention in the past couple of years but it’s often still a bit intimidating for non-technical folks to know where to start. This week WNYC’s John Keefe wrote a step by step introduction to setting up email encryption that a provides a gentle introduction to this sort of thing.

  Ben: Most of our readers have probably collided with Git at some point in the past, or had to explain it to someone. The Git Parable, by one of the cofounders of GitHub, is a pretty awesome intro to the version control software that rules our lives today.

  Denise: Time for some inspiration: The annual IRE Award winners were announced this morning. Congrats to the winners (including some INN members)!

  Kaeti: I really enjoyed this Made By interview with Chris Coyier (of CSS-Tricks, CodePen and the Shop Talk podcast). A good reminder that expertise is born of lots and lots of practice, not magic. Plus I’m always happy to see more tech people choosing to work in the midwest.

  Meredith: I prefer Twitter to other social platforms. I am fascinated by the ways that different people use it professionally and personally. Sarah Marshall offers 15 tips for using Twitter for News gathering.

 Nick: In Nerd Alert #14, Kaeti shared an article by Sailor Mercury on “Code Like A Girl”. I almost re-shared it here because I thought it was so awesome but Kaeti saved me from the dreaded re-post. Instead, you should take a look at Sailor Mercury’s kickstarter to make a series of zines on computer science called Bubble Sort. I used to collect the zine 2600, but this is going to be so much better.

  Ryan: If you're new to the command line, it can be daunting, but stick with it. Learn to love it. Powerful tools always have a steep learning curve, but the payoff is usually worth your trouble. Olivier Lacan's post covers the Unix $PATH environment variable, which plays a central role in determining the behavior of the command line. It's a great primer for those that are new to the command line and want to understand the basics, but also has some helpful tips for well-seasoned users.

  Will: With the Apple Watch due in stores later in April, read how Apple secretly built the thing, without any real idea of what they intended to create.

  Bert: Which comes first, the README or the project?


Our projects, manifest

We now offer data consulting, helping you clean data, find stories, and build custom news apps. Last November we launched Power Players, and we look forward to creating something new!


Work we admire by our journalism peers

SRCCON's list of session proposals is automatically updated by a chatbot. Here's the code behind BMO's ability to clean and sort the data, and Erin Kissane explains how it works in this Source post.


Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Uptown Funk is topping the charts. Here Voldemort’s hot take.

COOK: Prepare and eat some Spanish gooseneck shrimp.

WATCH: Romance is in the air!

GIF: The Internet - how does it work?

A gif showing the interconnection between a home computer, an ISP, a central router, a government computer, a satellite ground station, and an undersea cable. The illustration is done in David Macaulay's distinctive style, as seen in books such as Castle, Undergound, and City.