August 2007 Archives

Movie Shot Lengths and Attention Deficit Disorder?

Paul Kedrosky has a fascinating post up entitled Open Source Attention Deficit Disorder Measurement. He writes: There are stories making the rounds about people becoming nauseated while watching the popular new movie The Bourne Ultimatum. Not because they movie is so bad, but because the shot lengths are so short, averaging (apparently) something like two seconds. In some people that…

Wil Wheaton Keynote at PAX

Chris Adamson wrote on the O'Reilly editors' backchannel: Just listened to Wil Wheaton's PAX 2007 keynote [mp3]… awesome stuff. The big point is to establish video gaming as a social activity, calling back to the arcade and NES glory days of his youth and following through to online gaming and playing Guitar Hero with his teen stepkids today. This is…

New Release 2.0: Information Visualization

If you spend much of your time in meetings, chances are you’ve been confronted with a slide that attempts to tell a story. It might look something like Peter Norvig’s witty reduction of Lincoln’s thrilling Gettysburg Address to a soporific PowerPoint deck. The examples we see in corporate conference rooms now are less funny but just as useless. One of…

Reducing Email Volume

It's unfashionable to admit these days, but 14 years after getting my first account, I still like email. Of course, the volume is crushing, and so lately, I've been experimenting with email reduction. I'm getting good results with two key concepts that hardly anyone talks about and that focus on your sending habits rather than your inbox management. First, send…

Green Man: Burning Man's Greening

Burning Man is trying to police itself and work on its environmental impact. I had heard that the theme was Green, but I had no idea how seriously they were taking it until I saw a large collection of initiatives on WorldChanging. Take a close look if you are going, there are some good resources here. From WorldChanging: Ridesharing…

Context Aware Image Re-Sizing

If you have a large image that you need to make smaller you can either scale it or crop it. Scaling makes everything smaller and cropping can cut out important content. This jaw-dropping video demonstrates an image re-sizing algorithm that is content-aware. I was amazed; I hope it's real and coming to Firefox extension soon….

German and Japanese Wikipedia scanner

Time for more excitement on the Wikipedia front. Last week Virgil released the English Wikiscanner, as I wrote about previously. This week, it is time for German and Japanese edits to be exposed, with the newly-released German and Japanese Wikiscanner. Sadly, I don't read either German nor Japanese, but I am sure some of you readers do. If you find…

eBooks with that "old book" smell

During the TOC Conference in June, keynoter Manolis Kelaidis talked about how much he loved the feel and smell of books, even those on his shelf that he's never read. A compelling case for the codex form factor. Now comes word that CafeScribe.com will be sending eBook buyers a scratch-and-sniff sticker to bring the musty smell of "old books" to…

Should Do This: The Robot Coop's Suggestion Box

The Robot Coop's site 43Things prompts users to answer the question "What should I do with my life?". Today they have launched a new product, Should Do This, which prompts people to tell others what they should do. It's a great way for people to give an idea to any company, person, event, or product under the sun. The…

The Google Exchange

Paul Duguid's recent article in First Monday on the worth and merits of Google's Book digitization drew a range of comment and criticism. The most insightful and valuable subsequent exchange to my knowledge was that occurring between Paul himself and Patrick Leary, the author of the well-known article, "Googling the Victorians" [pdf]. Patrick is also the editor of SHARP-L, a…