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May 01 2012

Four short links: 1 May 2012

  1. Sugata Mitra: Beyond The Hole in the Wall (YouTube) -- great talk by the education researcher Sugata Mitra whose big kick is self-directed learning. Great stories about the deployments and effects he's had with technology and supervision rather than teaching, but the end is a real kicker: the core skills we have are literacy, search, and belief. Of the three, the most problematic is belief: when and how do/should we turn something we've read into something ingrained, accepted, and built-upon? (via Tara Taylor-Jorgenson)
  2. Interview with Bunnie Huang (Makezine) -- fascinating interview with the hardware guy behind the Chumby. It's all gold, from rapid iteration at early stages of hardware through to the need to simplify. I think one of the most gut-wrenching realizations that small companies have to make is that they aren’t Apple. Apple spends over a billion dollars a year on tooling. An injection molding tool may cost around $40k and 2-3 months to make; Apple is known to build five or six simultaneously and then scrap all but one so they can evaluate multiple design approaches. But for them, tossing $200k in tooling to save 2 months time to market is peanuts. But for a startup that raised a million bucks, it’s unthinkable. Apple also has hundreds of staff; a startup has just a few members to do everything. The precision and refinement of Apple’s products come at an enormous cost that is just out of the reach of startups.
  3. ssh as Chrome Extension -- can't help but feel that building a secure login system on top of web browsers on top of operating systems isn't going to be more secure than building a secure login system on top of the operating system.
  4. (Tablet) Size Matters (Luke Wroblewski) -- as the screen gets bigger, we use the Web more.

March 22 2011

Four short links: 22 March 2011

  1. EveryBlock Redesigned -- EB has been defined for a while now as "that site that makes my city's statistics useful and relevant". Now they're getting more into the user-reporting: As valuable as automated updates of crime, media mentions, and other EveryBlock news are, contributions from your fellow neighbors are significantly more meaningful and useful. While we're not removing our existing aggregation of public records and other neighborhood information (more on this in a bit), we've come to realize that human participation is essential, not only as a layer on top but as the bedrock of the site. They have a new mission: our goal is to help you make your block a better place. That's a bold goal, and quite a big change from where they were at. Will they manage any aspect of journalism, or will this become a GroupOn-ad-filled geo-portal for MSNBC? Looking forward to finding out.
  2. Typography in 8 Bits: System Fonts -- nifty rundown of fonts from the microcomputer days. I still go a bit weak-kneed at the sight of the C64 fonts. Which aspect of the system you're building will be remembered with weak knees in (gulp) thirty years' time? (via Joshua Schachter)
  3. Twitter in the Christchurch Earthquake -- analysis of the tweets around the quake, including words and retweets. (via Richard Wood)
  4. ChumbyCV -- computer vision framework for Chumby. CV on low-power ubiquitous hardware makes devices smarter and be higher-level sensors of activity and objects. (via BERG London)

May 03 2010

Four short links: 3 May 2010

  1. Science Hack Day -- Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th, 2010, in the Guardian offices in London. A meeting place for the designer/coder class and scientists, with datasets as the common language. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  2. Facebook's Evil Interface (EFF) -- Facebook's new M.O. is to say "to better help you, we took away your privacy. If you are stupid and wish to attempt to retain your privacy, don't not avoid to fail to click here. Now click here. Now click here ... ha, moved it! Moved it again! Gotcha!". Attempting to use Facebook to talk to friends without having your friendships and interests pimped to the data mining Johns is as hard as canceling an AOL subscription.
  3. Make Your Own 3G Router -- an easter-egg inside the new Chumby model (which O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures invested in).
  4. Australian Government's Response to the Web 2.0 Taskforce -- it's all positive: all but one recommendation accepted. Another very positive step from the Aussies.

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