- Princeton Open Access Report (PDF) — academics will need written permission to assign copyright of a paper to a journal. Of course, the faculty already had exclusive rights in the scholarly articles they write; the main effect of this new policy is to prevent them from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal. (via CC Huang)
- Good Faith Collaboration — a book on Wikipedia’s culture, from MIT Press. Distributed, appropriately, under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
- The Local-Global Flip — an EDGE conversation (or monologue) by Jaron Lanier that contains more thought-provocation per column-inch than anything else you’ll read this week. [I]ncreasing efficiency by itself doesn’t employ people. There is a difference between saving and making money when you’re unemployed. Once you’re already rich, saving money and making money is the same thing, but for people who are on the bottom or even in the middle classes, saving money doesn’t help you if you don’t have the money to save in the first place. and The beauty of money is it creates a system of people leaving each other alone by mutual agreement. It’s the only invention that does that that I’m aware of. In a world of finite limits where you don’t have an infinite West you can expand into, money is the thing that gives you a little bit of peace and quiet, where you can say, “It’s my money, I’m spending it”. and I’m astonished at how readily a great many people I know, young people, have accepted a reduced economic prospect and limited freedoms in any substantial sense, and basically traded them for being able to screw around online. There are just a lot of people who feel that being able to get their video or their tweet seen by somebody once in a while gets them enough ego gratification that it’s okay with them to still be living with their parents in their 30s, and that’s such a strange tradeoff. And if you project that forward, obviously it does become a problem. are things I’m still chewing on, many days after first reading.
- Trolled by Gerry Sussman (Bryan O’Sullivan) — Bryan gave a tutorial on Haskell to a conference on leading-edge programming languages and distributed systems. At one point, Gerry had a pretty amusing epigram to offer. “Haskell is the best of the obsolete programming languages!” he pronounced, with a mischievous look. Now, I know when I’m being trolled, so I said nothing and waited a moment, whereupon he continued, “but don’t take it the wrong way—I think they’re all obsolete!”
September 2011 Archives
Princeton Open Access, Wikipedia Culture, Food for Thought, and Trolled by Sussman
The shift toward more natural interfaces requires new thinking and skills.
As touch and gesture evolve from novelty to default, we must rethink how we build software, implement hardware, and design interfaces.
Recent moves by Apple and Google could ignite the external accessories space.
While you'll likely interact with your smartphone tomorrow in much the same way you interacted with it today, it's quite possible that your smartphone will interact with the world in a very different way. The next mobile war has already begun.
Bob Lefsetz on what the book industry can learn from the music industry.
In this podcast, Bob Lefsetz, author of "The Lefsetz Letter" and an advocate for change in the music industry, sat down with O'Reilly's Joe Wikert to share lessons and advice for book publishers.
Future Tech, Book Lawsuits, Site Design, and Sundae Problems
- Russell Davies: Four Thought (audio) — some very nice thinking on the future of technology.
- The Fight Over the Future of Digital Books (The Atlantic) — Authors Guild v. HathiTrust is a strange legal twist. For an association of professional writers, the Guild seems to have forgotten some of the basic principles of its craft, such as not placing sympathetic figures like librarians in the role of villains. Almost comically, the Guild’s press release trumpeting its lawsuit against HathiTrust augurs a dark day in the not-too-distant future when old works, including obscure Yiddish texts, are “abducted” and “released” to thousands of students and professors.
- The Design Behind How Many Really — this is fantastic stuff, showing the evolution of their thinking.
- Science Museums are Failing Grownups — I think this is a sundae problem. A sundae is a bowl full of ice cream. You put some stuff on top of it, but it remains, fundamentally, a bowl full of ice cream. And when I talk about examples of really great adult engagement in science museums, I am, generally, talking about the sprinkles, not the ice cream. The museums acknowledge the problem, but they’re dealing with it by adding in a couple of things here and there. A traveling exhibit. One exhibit out of the whole museum. One night a month. What they really need are serious changes to the bulk of the experience. Sundae problem. I like this.
How illustrations and a clear path can enhance a story.
A clear reading path isn't always a bad thing. Here's an example where imagery advances the narrative and guides the reader along a defined trajectory.
Key data players and datasets are called out in the Points of Control map.
To coincide with the "data frame" theme of this year's Web 2 Summit, the Points of Control Map has been updated with a layer illustrating data companies and data types.
A look at the technology behind ArcAttack's Tesla coil music show.
ArcAttack creates a maniacal combination of music and mad science that uses half-million-volt Tesla coils to play songs. We caught up with Steve Ward, a recent addition to the ArcAttack crew, at MakerFaire NY and asked him about the technology behind the show.
Source Code, SPDY Trials, Data from Facebook, and Voting Tools
- Phabricator — Facebook-built web apps that make it easy to write, review, and share source code. (via Simon Gianoutsos)
- The Slow Way to SPDY — attempting to actually try SPDY for yourself sounds like a nightmare as getting hold of a stable SPDY implementation at this point is not unlike an uphill climb on a slow mudslide – the protocol is currently on its third draft but not really stable, most of the available code is outdated, and despite the links on this page, hardly any of it is easy to get to work in a weekend. (via Nelson Minar)
- Get Your Data from Facebook — European privacy law means Facebook must tell you what they know about you. The sample responses they’ve given to people are eye-wateringly detailed. This takes on more importance once you realize Facebook tracks you when you’re not logged in.
- Referendum Tool — New Zealand faces a referendum on voting system (currently “mixed member proportional”), and this page is an interesting approach to helping you figure out which system you should endorse based on your preferences for how a voting system should work (“It is better if the Government is made up of one party, with a majority in Parliament, so that that party can implement its policies, and react decisively to events as they come up” vs “It is better if the Government is made up of a group of parties (a coalition), so that its decisions better reflect what the majority of voters want, even if that means important decisions might be delayed.”). I like this because it helps you understand translate your preferences into a specific vote.