Four Short Links: 20 Apr 2009

Camp, visualization, mistakes, and a wireless power meter hack:

  1. Toorcamp — two day hacker camp in a Titan-1 missile silo. The coolest venue evar? I think so.
  2. The Allosphere (TED) — JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the Allosphere, a planetarium-like sound-and-light visualization environment for scientific data. (via Lorrie Lejeune)
  3. The Mistake BankThe Mistake Bank is a place to share stories of mistakes people have made in their lives and careers. Reminds me of the fail sessions at Foo Camp that Joshua Schachter leads.
  4. Tweet-a-Watt (Lady Ada) — add an XBee card to a Kill-a-Watt power meter to be able to read the current power load from afar.
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  • We have a “Mistake Bank” for Emergency Management in the US for “Lessons Learned Information Sharing”.

    Lessons Learned Information Sharing ( is the national network of Lessons Learned and Best Practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials.’s secure, restricted-access information is designed to facilitate efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to acts of terrorism and other incidents across all disciplines and communities throughout the US.

    Secure: is an encrypted system and all users are verified emergency response providers and homeland security officials.

    Peer-validated content: All Lessons Learned and Best Practices are peer-validated by homeland security professionals.

    After-action reports and information clearinghouse: houses an extensive catalog of AARs as well as an updated list of homeland security documents from DHS, and other Federal, State, and local organizations.

  • “The Mistake Bank” is a really interesting concept. Finally a bank that will only keep growing; by leaps and bounds.

  • Hi, Nat,

    Thanks so much for linking to The Mistake Bank. [I love Ajeet’s comment, by the way. It is guaranteed to grow into perpetuity!]

    I started the site a little over a year ago as part of my work in using stories to improve customer service, marketing and collaboration.

    Nearly 400 people have joined, and many have shared stories and comments.

    To Jesse’s comment, I’m very interested in the ability to deploy these types of sites within organizational walls to capture lessons learned, and company culture: what companies consider mistakes, and how they learn to treat people who make the mistakes, shows a deep window into their culture.

    If any of your readers would like to dialogue on this idea, please contact me at The Mistake Bank, or at john (at) caddellinsightgroup (dot) com.

    Thanks, john

  • One of the areas that seems promising for a Mistake Bank would be for a community of practice within an organization or external community. Say, project managers, testers, AJAX programmers. Creating that kind of focus can bring a coherence to the mistakes shared that could make it highly valuable.

    It seems to be that this type of sharing is along the lines of the collaboration becoming common through open source projects.

    Thoughts on this? Promising idea or dead end?

    Thanks, john

  • That rocks, Jesse.

    Rummy’s watch was not an absolute disaster, by far, at least if we are making neutral assumptions about some known unknowns.