Four short links: 12 May 2009

Storage Superfluity, Data-Driven Design, Twit-Mapping, and DIY Biohacking

  1. Lacie 10TB Storage — for what used to be the price of a good computer, you can now buy 10TB of storage. Storage on sale goes for less than $100 a terabyte. This obviously promotes collecting, hoarding, packratting, and the search technology necessary to find what you’ve stashed away. Analogies to be drawn between McMansions full of Chinese-made crap and terabyte drive full of downloaded crap. Do we need to keep it? Are there psychological consequences to clutter? (via gizmodo)
  2. In Defense of Data-Driven Design — a thoughtful response to the “Google hates design!” hashmob formed around designer Douglas Bowman’s departure from Google. When you’ve got the enormous traffic necessary to work out if miniscule changes have some minor, statistically significant effect, then sure, if you can do it quickly, why wouldn’t you? But that’s optimization that should happen at the very end of the design cycle. The cart goes after the horse. Put it the other way ‘round and you have a broken setup. It doesn’t mean horses suck. It doesn’t mean carts suck. Carts are not the enemy of horses. Optimization is not the enemy of design. Get them in the right order and you have something really useful. Get them the wrong way around and you have something broken.
  3. Just Landed: Processing + Twitter + Metacarta + Hidden Data — Jer searched Twitter for “just landed in”, used Metacarta to extract the locations mentioned, and then used Processing to build visualizations.
  4. Do It Yourself Genetic Sleuthing — MIT is starting a hotbed of DIY biologists. The 23-year-old MIT graduate uses tools that fit neatly next to her shoe rack. There is a vintage thermal cycler she uses to alternately heat and cool snippets of DNA, a high-voltage power supply scored on eBay, and chemicals stored in the freezer in a box that had once held vegan “bacon” strips. Aull is on a quirky journey of self-discovery for the genetics age, seeking the footprint of a disease that can be fatal but is easily treated if identified. But her quest also raises a broader question: If hobbyists working on computers in their garages can create companies such as Apple, could genetics follow suit? It’s unclear what those DIY-started “genetics” companies would look like–the potential is there, but it’s yet to met the right problem. (via Andy Oram)

Just Landed – 36 Hours from blprnt on Vimeo.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696397913 Takuya Homma

    Dear Nat,

    There is a very interesting ‘Open Source Translation Project’ going on in Japan.

    A Japanese book was translated into English within a week after it was published. The author publicly allowed anyone to translate the book into any language without permission from him or the publisher. The English translation project is an open source project; anyone has the authority to edit. A French version is also proceeding.

    Please have a read at the following article for further information.

    http://www.mobinode.com/2009/05/09/emerging-open-source-translation-projects-in-japan/

    You can see the project here.
    http://modernshogi.pbworks.com/