Four short links: 21 February 2011

Data in Javascript, Artificial Empathy, Gender Comms, and Artificial Scarcity

  1. Amplify.jssimplify all forms of data handling by providing a unified [Javascript] API for various data sources. Amplify’s store component handles persistent client-side storage, using standards like localStorage and sessionStorage, but falling back on non-standard implementations for older browsers. Amplify’s request adds some additional features to jQuery’s ajax method while abstracting away the underlying data source.
  2. Artificial Empathy (Matt Jones) — we’ve evolved to broadcast and receive emotion, to infer intelligence and intent from the weakest of signals. Now we’re starting to use those communication channels in computer interactions. Matt Jones wonders what we can learn from animals about how this will play out.
  3. Communication Styles Make a Difference (NY Times) — Women were also more negative about the tone of the list. Whereas men tended to say that they found the “slings and arrows” that list members posted “entertaining” (as long as they weren’t directed at them), women reported that the antagonistic exchanges made them want to unsubscribe from the list. One women said it made her want to drop out of the field […] altogether. Also interesting: neutral point-of-view penalizes anyone who cautiously phrases contributions as opinion and rewards those who boldly claim facthood.
  4. Why Platforms Leak: The Impact of Artificial Scarcity (JP Rangaswami) — the best summary of the inevitable failure of artificial scarcity. When you make something digital and connect it to the web, it becomes available everywhere, it becomes available immediately […] As we’ve moved from the physical world to the digital world, incumbents in many industries have sought to preserve the historical structures and ways of doing business. Which, in effect, were attempts to create and exploit artificial scarcities. When it comes to digital assets, there are four primary ways to try and create artificial scarcity. […] All these have been attempted. All these have failed, and will continue to fail. You cannot make something that is essentially abundant artificially scarce.
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