Four short links: 29 Apr 2009

4chan, urban redesign, 3d printing, python

  1. Moot Wins, Time Inc. Loses — summary of how the 4chan group Anonymous rigged the voting in Time’s 100 Most Influential poll to not just put their man at the top, but also spell an in-joke with the initial letters of the first 21 people. Time tried weakly to prevent the vote-rigging, and ReCAPTCHA gave the Internet scalliwags their biggest setback, but check out how they automated as much as possible so that human effort was targeted most effectively. It’s the same mindset that build Google’s project management, ops, and dev systems. Notice how they tried to game ReCAPTCHA, a collective intelligence app whose users train the system to read OCRed words, by essentially outvoting genuine users so that every word was read as “penis”. Collective intelligence should never be the only security/discovery/etc. feature because such apps are often vulnerable to coordinated action.
  2. The old mint in downtown SF painted by 7 perfectly mapped HD projectors — looks absolutely spectacular. I love the combination of permanent and fleeting, architecture and infotexture. (via BoingBoing)
  3. 3-D Printing Hits Rock-bottom Prices With Homemade Ceramics Mix (Science Daily) — University of Washington researchers invent, and give away, a new 3D printer supply mix that costs under a dollar a pound (versus current commercial mixes of $30-50/pound).
  4. Haystack and Whoosh Notes (Richard Crowley) — notes on installing the search framework Haystack and the search back-end Whoosh, both pure Python. It’s a quick get-up-and-go so you can add quite sophisticated search to your Django apps. (via Simon Willison)
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