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October 13 2011

Four short links: 13 October 2011

  1. Memorable Indexes (Futility Closet) -- Carroll's index also includes entries for "Boots for horizontal weather," "Horizontal rain, boots for," "Rain, horizontal, boots for," and "Weather, horizontal, boots for". They're silly and whimsical, but the underlying problem of making multiple accessible entrypoints into a single corpus of content is with us today and only compounded by the vast growth of the size of the corpora with which we deal.
  2. Geiger Counter for iPhone -- reports radiation levels via Twitter, too. Expect to see more mobile sensor add-ons as the various smartphone hardware interfaces mature. (via Sara Winge)
  3. Suwappu App Prototype (BERG London) -- augmented reality, without fugly QR codes, but with toys. what does a script look like, when you’re authoring a story for five or six woodland creatures, and one or two human kids who are part of the action? How do we deliver the story to the phone? What stories work best? This app scratches the surface of that, and I know these are the avenues the folks at Dentsu are looking forward to exploring in the future. It feels like inventing a new media channel.
  4. ShareJS -- Javascript implementation of the Wave collaborative editing algorithm. (via Avi Bryant)

December 31 2010

Four short links: 31 December 2010

  1. The Joy of Stats -- Hans Rosling's BBC documentary on statistics, available to watch online.
  2. Best Tech Writing of 2010 -- I need a mass "add these to Instapaper" button. (via Hacker News)
  3. Google Shared Spaces: Why We Made It (Pamela Fox) -- came out of what people were trying to do with Google Wave.
  4. The Great Delicious Exodus -- traffic graph as experienced by pinboard.

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)

January 18 2010

Four short links: 18 January 2010

  1. On How Google Wave Surprisingly Changed My Life -- mandated in his small company that non-critical emails be turned into waves instead. Saw: more resolutions to arguments, less rehash of old territory, conversation gained structure and could be referred to afterwards, remote employees able to participate even when timezones prevented real-time. I've been looking for the use case that says "this is what Google Wave is really good for", and this is a great start. Note: small # of people, and in a company, so critical mass issue easily overcome.
  2. Open Data and APIs on Reddit -- a new subreddit created just for Open Data and APIs.
  3. Smart Meter Crypto Flaw Worse Than Thought -- poor seeding of the pseudorandom number generator in various chipsets, including those heavily used in embedded networked applications such as smart meters, means those devices are trivially insecure. (via Hacker News)
  4. Foursquare is Changing Our World (Mashable) -- Foursquare was perhaps the first to change our day and night life experiences into a social competition to essentially answer the question, "who has the most interesting life?" In fact, one key side effect of playing the game is that it inspires users to lead more active and interesting social lives. While this may all sound superficial and silly, the implications of social location gaming are quite significant. One of the many reasons that O'Reilly invested in Foursquare--glad to see someone noticing. (via timo on Delicious)

December 11 2009

Four short links: 11 December 2009

  1. Real Time Text Taskforce -- standardising live typing ala EtherPad and Google Wave, for accessibility reasons.
  2. NoSQL Required Reading -- papers and presentations to get up to speed in the theory and practice of scalable key-value data stores. (via Hacker News)
  3. It's Official, data.gov 2.0 is Coming -- pointer to the design and philosophy document for the next iteration of data.gov. Interesting to see so much activity on US open government happening now: open government directive and progress report were released, along with a request for ideas on open access to publicly-funded science research.
  4. Breakdancing Robot -- we live in the future, and it is good. (via @hollowaynz)

December 07 2009

Four short links: 7 December 2009

  1. 3D Touchscreens -- Japan Science & Technology Agency and researchers at the University of Electro-communications have made a "photoelastic" touch screen. The LCD emits polarized light, picked up by a camera over the screen. Transparent rubber on the screen deforms when pressed, and the camera can pick this up. Interesting hack, though it's not yet a consumer-grade product.
  2. Eureqa -- open source tool for detecting equations and hidden mathematical relationships in your data. Its primary goal is to identify the simplest mathematical formulas which could describe the underlying mechanisms that produced the data. (via pigor on delicious)
  3. Science in the Open, It Wasn't Supposed To Be This Way -- Cameron Neylon on the leaked climate email messages as a trigger for open data. One of the very few credible objections to open research that I have come across is that by making material available you open your inbox to a vast community of people who will just waste your time. The people who can’t be bothered to read the background literature or learn to use the tools; the ones who just want the right answer. [...] my concern is that in a kneejerk response to suddenly make things available no-one will think to put in place the social and technical infrastructure that we need to support positive engagement, and to protect active researchers, both professional and amateur from time-wasters. Sounds like an open science call for social software, though I'm not convinced it's that easy. Humans can't distinguish revolutionaries from terrorists, it's unclear why we think computers should be able to.
  4. EtherPad Back Online Until Open Sourced -- Google bought collaborative real-time EtherPad and the team will work on Google Wave, but the transition plan was "you can't create more documents, and it'll all go away in March". Grumpiness ensued. Everyone makes mistakes online, but the secret is to listen, acknowledge the mistake, and correct your course.

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