Four short links: 25 January 2011

Scalable Scraping, iPad Tactility, Emotional Failbots, and Asking Good Questions

  1. node.io — distributed node.js-based scraper system.
  2. Joystick-It — adhesive joystick for the iPad. Compare the Fling analogue joystick. Tactile accessories for the iPad—hot new product category or futile attempt to make a stripped-down demi-computer into an aftermarked pimped-out hackomatic? (via Aza Raskin on Twitter)
  3. Programmed for Love (Chronicle of Higher Education) — Sherry Turkle sees the danger in social hardware emulating emotion. Companies will soon sell robots designed to baby-sit children, replace workers in nursing homes, and serve as companions for people with disabilities. All of which to Turkle is demeaning, “transgressive,” and damaging to our collective sense of humanity. It’s not that she’s against robots as helpers—building cars, vacuuming floors, and helping to bathe the sick are one thing. She’s concerned about robots that want to be buddies, implicitly promising an emotional connection they can never deliver. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Asking the Right Questions (Expert Labs) — Andy Baio compiled a list of how Q&A sites like StackOverflow, Quora, Yahoo! Answers, etc. steer people towards asking questions whose answers will improve the site (and away from flamage, chitchat, etc.). The secret sauce to social software is the invisible walls that steer people towards productive behaviour.
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