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March 16 2012

Four short links: 16 March 2012

  1. Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and Computer Vision (video) -- using a water cannon, computer video, Arduino, and Python to keep marauding squirrel hordes under control. See the finished result for Yakkity Saxed moist rodent goodness.
  2. Soundbite -- dialogue search for Apple's Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Boris Soundbite quickly and accurately finds any word or phrase spoken in recorded media. Shoot squirrels with computer vision, search audio with computer hearing. We live in the future, people. (via Andy Baio)
  3. Single Page Apps with Backbone.js -- interesting and detailed dissection of how one site did it. Single page apps are where the server sends back one HTML file which changes (via Javascript) in response to the user's activity, possibly with API calls happening in the background, but where the browser is very definitely not requesting more full HTML pages from the server. The idea is to have speed (pull less across the wire each time the page changes) and also to use the language you already know to build the web page (Javascript).
  4. Why Finish Books? (NY Review of Books) -- the more bad books you finish, the fewer good ones you''ll have time to start. Applying this to the rest of life is left as an exercise for the reader.

November 03 2011

Four short links: 3 November 2011

  1. Feedback Without Frustration (YouTube) -- Scott Berkun at the HIVE conference talks about how feedback fails, and how to get it successfully. He is so good.
  2. Americhrome -- history of the official palette of the United States of America.
  3. Discovering Talented Musicians with Musical Analysis (Google Research blgo) -- very clever, they do acoustical analysis and then train up a machine learning engine by asking humans to rate some tracks. Then they set it loose on YouTube and it finds people who are good but not yet popular. My favourite: I'll Follow You Into The Dark by a gentleman with a wonderful voice.
  4. Dark Sky (Kickstarter) -- hyperlocal hyper-realtime weather prediction. Uses radar imagery to figure out what's going on around you, then tells you what the weather will be like for the next 30-60 minutes. Clever use of data plus software.

October 31 2011

April 12 2011

Four short links: 12 April 2011

  1. The Email Game -- game mechanics to get you answering email more efficiently. Can't wait to hear that conversation with corporate IT. "You want us to install what on the Exchange server?" (via Demo Day Wrapup)
  2. Stratified B-trees and versioning dictionaries -- A classic versioned data structure in storage and computer science is the copy-on-write (CoW) B-tree -- it underlies many of today's file systems and databases, including WAFL, ZFS, Btrfs and more. Unfortunately, it doesn't inherit the B-tree's optimality properties; it has poor space utilization, cannot offer fast updates, and relies on random IO to scale. Yet, nothing better has been developed since. We describe the `stratified B-tree', which beats all known semi-external memory versioned B-trees, including the CoW B-tree. In particular, it is the first versioned dictionary to achieve optimal tradeoffs between space, query and update performance. (via Bob Ippolito)
  3. DisplayCabinet (Ben Bashford) -- We embedded a group of inanimate ornamental objects with RFID tags. Totems or avatars that represent either people, products or services. We also added RFID tags to a set of house keys and a wallet. Functional things that you carry with you. This group of objects combine with a set of shelves containing a hidden projector and RFID reader to become DisplayCabinet. (via Chris Heathcote)
  4. shairport -- Aussie pulled the encryption keys from an Airport Express device, so now you can have software pretend to be an Airport Express.

September 27 2010

Four short links: 27 September 2010

  1. Google Acquisition Spending Spree (Venturebeat) -- Google is now on track to acquire a new company every two weeks this year. (via azaaza on Twitter)
  2. Where Good Ideas Come From (YouTube) -- this perfectly describes Foo.
  3. A Taxonomy of Data Science -- great first post on a new blog by data practitioners.
  4. Rockbox -- open source (GPL) firmware for MP3 player hardware, which turns it into a full-featured "jukebox" player.

September 03 2010

Four short links: 3 Sep 2010

  1. Arranging Things: The Rhetoric of Object Placement (Amazon) -- [...] the underlying principles that govern how Western designers arrange things in three-dimensional compositions. Inspired by Greek and Roman notions of rhetoric [...] Koren elucidates the elements of arranging rhetoric that all designers instinctively use in everything from floral compositions to interior decorating. (via Elaine Wherry)
  2. 2010 Mario AI Championship -- three tracks: Gameplay, Learning, and Level Generation. Found via Ben Weber's account of his Level Generation entry. My submission utilizes a multi-pass approach to level generation in which the system iterates through the level several times, placing different types of objects during each pass. During each pass through the level, a subset of each object type has a specific probability of being added to the level. The result is a computationally efficient approach to generating a large space of randomized levels.
  3. Wave in a Box -- Google to flesh out existing open source Wave client and server into full "Wave in a Box" app status.
  4. 3D Sound in Google Earth (YouTube) -- wow. (via Planet In Action)

August 30 2010

Four short links: 30 August 2010

  1. Free as in Smokescreen (Mike Shaver) -- H.264, one of the ways video can be delivered in HTML5, is covered by patents. This prevents Mozilla from shipping an H.264 player, which fragments web video. The MPEG LA group who manage the patents for H.264 did a great piece of PR bullshit, saying "this will be permanently royalty-free to consumers". This, in turn, triggered a wave of gleeful "yay, now we can use H.264!" around the web. Mike Shaver from Mozilla points out that the problem was never that users might be charged, but rather that the software producer would be charged. The situation today is just as it was last week: open source can't touch H.264 without inviting a patent lawsuit.
  2. Crowdsourcing for Pakistan Flood Relief -- Crowdflower are geocoding and translating news reports from the ground, building a map of real-time data so aid workers know where help is needed.
  3. Dirpy -- extract MP3 from YouTube. Very nice interface. (via holovaty on Delicious)
  4. Three Rules of Thumb for Bloom Filters -- Bloom filters are used in caches and other situations where you need fast lookup and can withstand the occasional false positive. 1: One byte per item in the input set gives about a 2% false positive rate. For more on Bloom Filters, see Maciej Ceglowski's introduction. (via Hacker News)

August 27 2010

Four short links: 27 August 2010

  1. Working Audio Data Demos -- the new Firefox has a very sweet audio data API and some nifty demos like delay pedals, a beat detector (YouTube) and a JavaScript text-to-speech generator. (via jamesaduncan on Twitter)
  2. Estimating the Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders: Evidence from the Google Book Search Litigation -- [T]he revenues and profits of the publishers who believe themselves to be most aggrieved by GBS, as measured by their willingness to file suit against Google for copyright infringement, increased at a faster rate after the project began, as compared to before its commencement. The rate of growth by publishers most affected by GBS is greater than the growth of the overall U.S. economy or of retail sales.
  3. In History-Rich Region, a Very New System Tracks Very Old Things (NY Times) -- Getty built a web database to help Jordan track its antiquities sites (and threats to them) with Google Earth satellite images. (via auchmill on Twitter)
  4. What Women Want and How Not to Give it To Them -- thought-provoking piece about the ways in which corporate diversity efforts fail. Must read.

March 25 2010

Four short links: 25 March 2010

  1. Aren't You Being a Little Hasty in Making This Data Free? -- very nice deconstruction of a letter sent by ESRI and competitors to the British Government, alarmed at the announcement that various small- and mid-sized datasets would no longer be charged for. In short, companies that make money reselling datasets hate the idea of free datasets. The arguments against charging are that the cost of gating access exceeds revenue and that open access maximises economic gain. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
  2. User Assisted Audio Selection -- amazing movie that lets you sing or hum along with a piece of music to pull them out of the background music. The researcher, Paris Smaragdis has a done lot of other nifty audio work. (via waxpancake on Twitter)
  3. Cologne-based Libraries Release 5.4M Bibliographic Records to CC0 -- I see resonance here with the Cologne Archives disaster last year, where the building collapsed and 18km of shelves covering over 2000 years of municipal history were lost. When you have digital heritage, embrace the ease of copying and spread those bits as far and wide as you can. Hoarding bits comes with a risk of a digital Cologne disaster, where one calamity deletes your collection. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
  4. ThinkTank -- web app that lets you analyse your tweets, break down responses to queries, and archive your Twitter experience. Built by Expert Labs.

January 28 2010

Netzneutralität in 2,5 Minuten

Stefan Römermann hat für MDR-Info in 2,5 Minuten die Diskussion rund um die Netzneutralität beschrieben. Dabei kommen u.a. Jürgen Kuri von Heise und Falk Lüke vom VZBV zu Wort. Hier ist die MP3.

Download audio file (2010-01-26-mitschnitt-mdr-info-netzneutralit%C3%A4t.mp3)
Reposted fromnetzpolitik netzpolitik
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