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August 08 2013

May 16 2011

Four short links: 16 May 2011

  1. Entering the Minority Report Era -- a survey of technology inspired by or reminiscent of Minority Report, which came out ten years ago. (via Hacker News)
  2. Sally -- a tool for embedding strings in matrices, as used in machine learning. (via Matt Biddulph)
  3. GNU SIP Witch Released -- can be used to deploy private secure calling networks, whether stand-alone or in conjunction with existing VoIP infrastructure, for private institutions and national governments. (via Hacker News)
  4. Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment (TechCrunch) -- fascinating story of Nigerian criminal tech entrepreneurs. He helps build them up; he listens to their problems. He makes them feel loved. He calls each an innocuous pet name, lest he accidentally type the wrong message into the wrong chat window. He asks for a little bit of money here and there, until men are sending him steady amounts from each paycheck. He says it takes exactly one month for a man to fall in love with him, and once he has a man’s heart, no woman can take it. I wonder what designers of social software can learn from these master emotional manipulators?

May 07 2010

Four short links: 7 May 2010

  1. Flash is Not a Right (Ian Bogost) -- I worry that we're losing a sense of diversity in computation. This seems to be happening at both the formal and informal levels. Georgia Tech's computer science bachelor's degree doesn't require a language survey class, for example (although one is offered as an elective). This year in the Computational Media curriculum committee, we've been discussing the idea of creating a history of programming languages course as a partial salve, one that would explain how and why a number of different languages and environments evolved. Such a course would explicitly focus on how to learn new languages and environments, since that process is not always obvious. It's a wonderful and liberating feeling to become familiar with and then master different environments, and everyone truly interested in computing should experience that joy.
  2. What Every Developer Should Know About URLs -- a lot of detail of how the pieces hook together. (via bengebre on Delicious)
  3. Ryzom is an Open Source MMORPG -- existing game, now GNU Affero licensed code for server, client, and tools, with CC-BY-SA licensed assets. (via Slashdot)
  4. Remix American High Style with Polyvore -- the greatest challenge to heritage institutions is irrelevance, not penury. Brooklyn Museum is unsurpassed in creating relevance for its collections and its existence, and they do it by reaching out, where people are and not expecting them to come directly to us. If you're at a gallery, museum, library, or archive and your first reaction is to protect what you've got, you're doing it wrong. Report to Brooklyn for make-up classes. (via auchmill on Twitter)

April 26 2010

January 08 2010

Four short links: 8 January 2010

  1. Testing, Testing -- at the end of an interesting article on health care reform comes this: The poverty of our health-care information is an embarrassment. At the end of each month, we have county-by-county data on unemployment, and we have prompt and detailed data on the price of goods and commodities; we can use these indicators to guide our economic policies. But try to look up information on your community’s medical costs and utilization—or simply try to find out how many people died from heart attacks or pneumonia or surgical complications—and you will discover that the most recent data are at least three years old, if they exist at all, and aren’t broken down to a county level that communities can learn from. It’s like driving a car with a speedometer that tells you only how fast all cars were driving, on average, three years ago.. (via auchmill on Twitter)
  2. Gretl: The GNU Regression, Econometrics, and Time-Series Library -- GPLed cross-platform software package for econometric analysis, written in the C programming language. (via Hacker News)
  3. 11 Ways to Visualize Changes Over Time (Flowing Data) -- just what it says. (via mattb on Delicious)
  4. View Source is Good? Discuss (Alex Russell) -- fantastic post, mandatory reading. View-source was necessary (but not sufficient) to make HTML the dominant application platform of our times. I also hold that it is under attack — not least of all from within — and that losing view-source poses a significant danger to the overall health of the web.

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