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January 29 2014

Four short links: 29 January 2014

  1. Bounce Explorer — throwable sensor (video, CO2, etc) for first responders.
  2. Sintering Patent Expires Today — key patent expires, though there are others in the field. Sintering is where the printer fuses powder with a laser, which produces smooth surfaces and works for ceramics and other materials beyond plastic. Hope is that sintering printers will see same massive growth that FDM (current tech) printers saw after the FDM patent expired 5 years ago.
  3. Internet is the Greatest Legal Facilitator of Inequality in Human History (The Atlantic) — hyperbole aside, this piece does a good job of outlining “why they hate us” and what the systemic challenges are.
  4. First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer Announced — $5000 price tag. Nice!

November 16 2012

Four short links: 16 November 2012

  1. Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation (Mother Jones) — The new platform allowed OFA to collect feedback from the ground on an enormous scale, and respond accordingly. In short, it made the flow of information bidirectional. “What it did was it listened, and it trickled up information.”
  2. Surprisingly Undervalued BooksI’m not necessarily talking about obscure books/authors here. I’m talking about the ratio of how good the book is to how good you expect it to be. These are the outliers, the ones that most people don’t talk about very much or haven’t heard of, and yet turn out to be profoundly brilliant.
  3. SoundSlice — Adrian Holovaty’s new tool to help transcribe music from YouTube videos.
  4. 3D Printable Copter — it’s all that. See also assembly instructions.
Sponsored post

May 28 2012

Four short links: 28 May 2012

  1. Canada Wages War on Knowledge -- Library and Archives Canada is ending acquisitions, not digitizing material, dispersing its collection to underfunded private and public collections around Canada, and providing little in the way of access to the scraps they did keep. Apparently Canada has been overrun by Huns and Vandals. Imminent sack of Toronto predicted. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Cyberpunk Dress Code (BoingBoing) -- what caught my eye was how many gadgets have been subsumed into the mobile phone.
  3. Brief Intro to TPCK and SAMR (PDF) -- slides from a workshop framing technology in education. SAMR particularly good: technology first Substitutes, then Augments (substitutes and improves), then Modifies (changing the task), and then finally Redefines (makes entirely new tasks possible).
  4. Virtual CDRW -- awesome Mac tool: gives you a fake CD/RW drive so when you have to play the burn/rip game to get music out of DRM, you don't have to waste plastic.

May 25 2012

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs

This week's visualization comes from The New York Times, which tries to shed a little light on Facebook's initial public offering by showing how it compares to the 2,400 technology IPOs that have occurred since 1980.

The visualization begins with a timeline of tech IPOs that runs up until last week. Until then, Google had the largest market capitalization with a value of $28 billion at its launch. The next image in the visualization series then adds Facebook to the mix — the animation makes the other IPOs literally shrink in comparison. Facebook's value at launch was $104 billion.

30 years of tech IPOs
Screenshot from the New York Times' tech IPO visualization.

The bubbles for each company reveal their value at the time of IPO, the percentage change after one day of trading, and their value three years later.

Found a great visualization? Tell us about it

This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. We're always looking for leads, so please drop a line if there's a visualization you think we should know about.

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More Visualizations:

November 07 2011

Four short links: 7 November 2011

  1. California and Bust (Vanity Fair) -- Michael Lewis digs into city and state finances, and the news ain't good.
  2. Tonido Plug 2 -- with only watts a day, you could have your own low-cost compute farm that runs off a car battery and a cheap solar panel.
  3. William Gibson Interview (The Paris Review) -- It's harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we've already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone.
  4. Zen and the Art of Making (Phil Torrone) -- thoughts on the difference between beginners and experts, and why the beginner's mindset is intoxicating and addictive.

January 13 2010

Four short links: 13 January 2010

  1. Telling Time with Open Realtime Data -- Sony Ericsson MBW-150 bluetooth watch, showing the next few SF Muni bus arrival times for a nearby stop. The code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita’s OpenWatch software for the Android platform. This is a neat hack, and reminds us that every object on our person could be programmed. (via Brian Jepson)
  2. EZ430 Chronos -- wireless, programmable, pressure sensor, accelerometer, temperature sensor, all in a watch. (via Makezine)
  3. Developing Bioinformatics Methods -- the best method developers, in general, are those people who are both developers and users of their own methods. Regardless of what field you're in, look for the alpha geeks: those who have both a problem and the means to solve it.
  4. How to Innovate Using Existing Technology (Caterina Fake) -- interesting observation, that there's a sweet spot between "just a feature" and "needs ten years of basic research in academia" to get something that's defensible, useful, and achievable with the means of a startup. I'm a big fan of augmented human skill: using computers to make humans more effective at doing what humans are good at.

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