They’re not just used by behavioural scientists: a Skinner box can be a useful device for training pets, especially pets with a reasonable amount of smarts, like parrots or rats. It can automate the process you may have already used with your pet, where “correct” behaviour is rewarded – walk to heel, get a doggy snack.


Skinner boxes are also pretty expensive. So Katherine Scott, computer vision and robotics expert, electronics ninja and rat owner/trainer, has built her own, which she intends to release as an open source device when she’s finished refining it.

I’m going to show you exactly how I ranked a site on the first page of Google in just a couple of months. My intention here is to be transparent, and to show you everything. It seems like there is a lot of information about SEO floating around the web. Sometimes it is conflicting. Sometimes it is just plain wrong. Too much information can be paralyzing. I hope through this case study you will get some ideas of what you can do to help your site rank better.

I relaunched again 3 months ago and within 48 hours, I had 1,000 targeted users on my email list. What I didn’t mention is that I had barely started developing it when I relaunched. All I had was a landing page with a one-paragraph benefit statement of how my app will help them, an email signup form, and a fancy teaser screenshot.

But after living in Japan on and off for a quite a few years, I think I've identified a general feature of Japanese culture that does lend itself more or less to blanket statements. And - even more surprisingly - it's one that I suspect may be holding Japan's economy and society back in significant ways.

Basically, Japanese culture is too averse to argument.

To see what I mean, try to start an intellectual debate with a Japanese person at a house party, bar, or coffee shop. Chances are that the reaction will be immediate discomfort - looking away, changing the subject, or just not saying anything. Often, Japanese people react to attempts at argument as if they expect you to physically assault them any moment. Many times I've tried cheerfully to debate some assertion a Japanese friend made (just as I would have done in my college dorm), only to have them ask: "Why are you upset?"

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the popularity of HTML emails. And, like the web before it, the inbox has officially gone mobile—with over 50 percent of email opens occurring on mobile devices.


Building on the principles of responsive web design first codified by Ethan Marcotte, a revolution in email design is giving birth to an experience fast approaching that of the modern web. Subscribers need no longer be subjected to terrible reading experiences, frustrating touch targets, and tiny text.

One of the most powerful features of the CSS preprocessor Sass is the mixin, an abstraction of a common pattern into a semantic and reusable chunk. Think of taking the styles for a button and, instead of needing to remember what all of the properties are, having a selector include the styles for the button instead. The button styles are maintained in a single place, making them easy to update and keep consistent.

If you think that selfishness and cruelty are fantastic personal traits, you might be a libertarian. In the movement no one will ever call you an asshole, but rather, say you believe in radical individualism.

We all know that inequality has been rising and the average American household has been suffering. There is a myth that says all this suffering is necessary, that extreme inequality is the by-product of a rapidly growing economy—or worse, that it’s a good thing because it motivates everyone to work hard and climb the long ladder to the One Percent. § Even a brief glance at the historical record reveals just how perverted this hypothesis is.

As reported by Cameron McCormack, Firefox Nightly (version 29) now supports CSS variables. You can get a quick overview in this short screencast:

The NSA doesn't just have the technical capabilities to collect location-based data in bulk. A 24-page NSA white paper shows that the agency has a powerful suite of algorithms, or data sorting tools, that allow it to learn a great deal about how people live their lives.

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